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Director, Communications, Canadian Cancer Society

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline: September 3, 2012

Every three minutes, another Canadian is faced with fighting cancer. Join the Canadian Cancer Society’s fight against cancer by helping us do everything we can to prevent cancer, save lives and support those living with cancer. You’ll be part of a passionate team determined to change lives and make a difference in the cancer fight.

Director, Communications (Contract ending October 2013, Full-time)

Toronto, ON

Job Purpose

Reporting to the Vice President, Public Affairs, the Director, Communications manages a staff of four and oversees a team of eight, possesses strong media relations savvy and leads all communications strategies to support the organization’s mission, primarily focused on supporting the Society’s objectives in prevention and advocacy.  Operating out of the Public Affairs Department, this high-profile role develops strategies to support Public Affairs initiatives, but also advises and provides support to other parts of the Society’s mission, such as research, patient information and support as well as to other areas of the organization, such as revenue development. Leading by example, the Director, Communications champions the Society’s brand and employs an engagement/ involvement approach to communications planning, and plays a key role in protecting the Society’s reputation through a proactive approach to issues, crisis and reputation management.

Duties and Responsibilities

·         Oversees the development and execution of plans and messaging for communications initiatives to influence or change the public's attitudes to support the Society's advocacy efforts and prevention initiatives, including breast cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, UV Safety, Tobacco Control at the provincial, regional and local levels and writes strategic communications materials, including organizational announcements/change communications and key messages.

·         Builds the Society's proactive media capacity through initiating and maintaining targeted media relationships, identifying and advising on how to capitalize on new opportunities to reach out to the media, e.g. editorial boards, op-eds, media educational workshops and other sophisticated media relations tools and develops media strategies, including new social media approaches and building a Speaker's Bureau.

·         Develops and implements communications strategies.

·         Provides communications advice and support to the Senior Leadership Team, including preparing speeches and providing executive briefings as required and serves as a key member on the newly created Ontario Rapid Response Team, providing communications counsel on issues and reputation management and crisis response.

·         Works with the Society's IT department in the development of the Society's intranet site, with a focus on establishing a strong internal communications and staff engagement platform

·         Works closely with the Society national and provincial divisions and participates in nation-wide activities as required

·         Acts as a media spokesperson as required

·         Other duties as assigned

Fiscal Management Responsibilities

·         Plans and manages budget, including ongoing tracking and variance reporting and follows appropriate financial policies and procedures

Staff Management Responsibilities

·         Creates a positive work environment which attracts and retains high calibre individuals

·         Supports the team in achieving their commitments and departmental objectives

·         Identifies developmental needs and implements tactics to reduce the gaps identified

·         Managers and mentors through ongoing coaching and development


·         Degree in journalism, communications or public relations

·         8 to 10 years’ experience working in a high pressure, fast-paced, complex communications/public affairs/corporate communications/marketing environment; not-for-profit and/or multi-level organizational experience is an asset

·         Proven experience in developing and implementing communications plans, including objectives, strategies and tactics

·         Spokesperson experience and experience in managing media and initiating and maintaining media relationships

·         Strong experience in people, budget and contract management

·         Excellent written and oral communication skills

·         Knowledge of agency processes, briefing and creative development

·         Demonstrated ability to network and build relationships

·         Strong organizational, time management, project management, problem-solving, and analytical skills

·         A creative self-starter who is comfortable taking initiative and champions progressive change

·         Working knowledge of MS Office (Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Outlook/SharePoint)

·         Knowledge of Canadian Cancer Society programs, policies and procedures, including messaging, style guide and positions an asset

·         Experience in the healthcare sector or health charity an asset

·         Experience and confidence in working with executive management

·         A criminal record check is required.

·         Non-smoker.

Working Conditions

  • Frequent meetings with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Some overtime required
  • Works independently
  • Works as part of multidisciplinary senior management team
  • Works with confidential information
  • Multiple priorities and interaction with many clients

Physical/Mental requirements

  • May sit for extended periods
  • May involve significant computer use

Direct reports

  • Senior Advisor, Communications
  • Senior Coordinator, Public Affairs
  • Senior Coordinator, Communications

In return for your contributions, we offer a very attractive compensation package, which encompasses a salary starting in the low $80k range, and the chance to work in a supportive and progressive environment. Qualified non-smokers are invited to send their resume and cover letter, quoting job# OHPE 272, by September 3, 2012, to:

Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

Human Resources Department

We thank all applicants for their interest and advise that only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

For more information about how you can join the fight against cancer and become a member of our dynamic team, please visit our website at and visit the Careers section, found under About Us.

The Canadian Cancer Society provides equal opportunity in employment and encourages applications from all qualified persons.